Make a Clean Escape From Fairway Bunkers

Wednesday December 17th, 2008
Marc Serota

This story is for you if...

• You hit fairway-bunker shots thin and low.

• You're never comfortable with this shot because you rarely practice it.

The Problem

Your drive flew off-line and landed in a fairway bunker.

Try This!

If you struggle with these shots, try my foolproof escape tips. You'll never fear a fairway bunker again.

1. HANDS Choke down on the club slightly. This will encourage ball-first contact — a must.

2. BALL POSITION Play the ball back in your stance.

3. STANCE Take a wider stance than normal and try to keep your lower body still. You want to feel flat-footed, so you won't overuse your legs.

QUIET BODY

You want barely any lower-body motion on this shot. This will keep your swing shallow.

STABLE FEET

Your feet shouldn't move at all from where they were at address. If you minimize motion, you'll stay level through the shot and make a solid blow on the ball.

CLUB CONTROL

One common mistake people make in fairway bunkers is that they try to hit the ball too hard and lunge at it. Instead, take an extra club and swing easy.

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